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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Vicki Ann Moss, DNSc, MS, BSN, RN (University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh)
Description: This is the 6th edition of a book that covers foundations for building cultural competence, a discussion of diversity in North America, and chapters on selected population groups — American Indian and Alaska Native, Asian, Black, Hispanic, and White. In addition, it discusses many health and healing traditions, including the role of faith in healing, and examines the current issues of healthcare delivery. Included are numerous figures and tables that augment the narrative material. This book was first published in 1977 and the previous edition was published in 2000.
Purpose: The purpose of this book is to promote "awareness of the dimensions and complexities involved in caring for people from diverse cultural backgrounds" (p. xi). It is useful in fulfilling the requirement of the recent policy of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that all health providers be culturally competent.
Audience: This book is appropriate for any student in the allied health professions, nursing, medicine, social work, and others. It can also be a useful companion for those in community health, long term care, and chronic care areas. The author has 30 years of experience studying culture, ethnicity, and religion and their influence on health, illness, and healing.
Features: This book features a free companion Web site with activities, multiple-choice questions and more. Students get instant feedback after submission of quiz questions and can have them routed to the instructor via e-mail. There are also links to the New York Times and USA Today's Census 2000. Online companions for schools using course management systems are also available. The eight appendixes include a suggested course outline and course activities, a Heritage Assessment Tool, and a Quick Guide for Cultural Care. Resources including Web sites that enhance knowledge of cultural care are also provided. Unique features of this book are health images or symbols which appear at the beginning of each chapter and link information from one chapter to the next. A free pocket guide to Assessment and Health Tradition is also available.
Assessment: This book and companion Web site are an instructor's dream, since they contain numerous resources and many teaching and learning strategies. One chapter explores the provider's perception of health and illness that is necessary in order to develop sensitivity and an understanding of other cultural groups' health, illness, and healing practices. There is an updated chapter on the healthcare delivery system and discussions of the influences of recent social, political, and demographic changes that are shaping healthcare. It is an easy read with practical suggestions for developing cultural competence. The many images, symbols, and pictures bring the reader into a more personal and intimate connection with the narrative and the cultural practices discussed.